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Good Leaders Keep Their Employees

February 6, 2018

Dr. Travis Bradberry, an author I’ve referenced often during Emotional Intelligence training, wrote an article back in 2016 entitled “9 Things That Make Good Employees Quit”. I will reiterate something I believe in and something that research proves – people leave managers more than they leave companies.

 

Dr. Bradberry writes, “Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun, while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers. The sad thing is that this can easily be avoided. All that’s required is a new perspective and some extra effort on the manager’s part.”

 

Bradberry goes on to list the 9 reasons people leave managers:

1. They Overwork People

2. They Don’t Recognize Contributions and Reward Good Work

3. They Don’t Care about Their Employees

4. They Don’t Honor Their Commitments

5. They Hire and Promote the Wrong People

6. They Don’t Let People Pursue Their Passions

7. They Fail to Develop People’s Skills

8. They Fail to Engage Their Creativity

9. They Fail to Challenge People Intellectually

 

I have been the overworked employee and I have probably overworked my employees. We have to remember that talented employees cannot always be our go to employees. We also have to remember that we can’t overload our employees. Additionally, we need to remember to recognize and reward them. This could be a promotion, if you can. However, in many companies this is difficult, so we have to find other ways in most cases. And, as managers, we have to realize that different things motivate our employees – different from us and different from each other. We need to take the time for find out what motivates our employees.

 

I have been the employee that has felt more like a number than a person. I try never to do this to my employees, and I will admit that I sometimes have to remind myself that I am the manager, not their friend. We have to remember that we are managers and we have employees to manage, but we and our employees are human…and a little care, compassion, and empathy goes a long way.

 

I have been the employee that is held accountable for deadlines and deliverables. I’ve also been the employee who struggled with being held accountable for things when my manager never followed through on his/her commitments. It is hard to respect (and stay with) a manager who doesn’t live up to their commitments. We have to walk our talk when it comes to accountability.

 

I have been the employee who has wondered why someone was hired or why someone was promoted (clearly, they didn’t have the right skillset, at least in my mind…and often in others minds as well – at least that is what is heard around the coffee maker). As manager we have to realize that our decisions on who we hire impacts the team. We need to involve our team in hiring and promoting decisions – sometimes directly by having them as part of the interview team, but other times subtly by getting their feedback on other people on the team.

 

I have been the employee who has been stifled and micromanaged. I had ideas and projects I wanted to work on, a different way to approach things, etc. However, my hands were tied because my manager wanted me focused on something else or wanted me to do things the way it had always been done. I try to be the empowering manager that lets my employees grow in their roles, so they can expand their skillset and enjoy their work. How can we do this? Part of it is listening to them to know their passions as well as which skills they want/need to develop. Another part is giving feedback as needed. Something to note: according to Dr. Bradberry’s article studies have shown that by giving people time to pursue their passions they are more productive.

 

I have been the employee who has become bored by my job because my creativity wasn’t valued and because I wasn’t challenged. I try to never do that to my employees. No matter where someone is in their career, there is always an opportunity for creativity, for them to lead something, etc. We need to recognize that and provide those opportunities.

 

Think about what Dr. Bradberry lists as the nine things that make good employees quit. Reflect on how you manage and decide if you need to make some changes. I am not a big new year’s resolution person, but it is still early in the year and there could be some changes you want to make in 2018.

 

This is a topic that I love, because I’ve learned from my mistakes. If you are a leader of company, I can work with your managers in a group setting or one on one. If you are a manager, I can work with you one on one. Reach out so you can reduce your fears that you might lose some of your good employees.

 

Here is the link if you’d like to read the article from Dr. Bradberry, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-travis-bradberry/9-things-that-make-good-e_b_8870074.html

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